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Photo by: Ben Hartman
Tel Aviv city clerks attempt to clear vacant protest tents
By BEN HARTMAN
08/09/2011
Activists report municipal clerks at Nordau, Ben-Gurion streets' campsites warning of evictions; TA city office denies claims.
 
Municipality clerks attempted to impound tents from two different campsites in northern Tel Aviv Tuesday morning, witnesses reported.

Yael Havassy, one of the founders of the Ben-Gurion campsite said that a few municipality clerks came by in the late morning and attempted to impound a number of the 30 or so tents at the site.

“It’s not clear why they came,” said Havassy. “And when we spoke to them and asked them if they had an eviction notice, they left.”

She added that they managed to take three of the tents and told those present that they can come pick them up from City Hall later in the day.

Havassy said she hadn’t heard of any local residents complaining about the campsite, and that “we welcome anyone from the neighborhood to tell us if something bothers them, but also to come and be part of what we’re doing.”

She said that most participants work during the day, and that unlike Rothschild Boulevard, it’s not an ongoing festival at all hours of the day.

At the Nordau Boulevard campsite on Tuesday, home to more than 50 tents, two municipal clerks and an outside contractor came to remove tents, according to Ziv Keinan, a fixture at the tent city who was sitting on a couch on Nordau on Tuesday.

“They came and said that they would remove every tent that didn’t have anyone in it.

They didn’t have any sort of warrant and once they saw a TV camera, they left.”

Following widespread reports of the attempted evictions, the Tel Aviv municipality issued a statement on Tuesday saying that “in spite of the reports, there is no intention on our behalf to evict the protest tents throughout the city. The municipality was the first to support the protest and allow it to take place, through allotting a location on Rothschild Boulevard and other places in the city.

“There has been no change in our standing that allows the protests to take place while also preserving the public order and limiting the disturbance for the residents living close to the campsites from whom we have received a large number of serious complaints.”

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